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20070706 Countdown to Camp
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 07/06/2007
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With the start of Arizona fall football camp just less than a month ahead, arizonaathletics.com checks in with a collection of miscellaneous thoughts about Wildcat Football in Head Coach Mike Stoopsˇ? fourth year...

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Vacationing?...

Not exactly. Some coaches are in, some are not, but always there's a leadership presence in the football offices, which are abuzz with planning and fine-tuning preparations for camp. UA's staff will convene as a whole on July 23, with newcomers set to report on the 31st and veteran student-athletes on Aug. 1 -- and then it's on. To be honest, with 100 percent of the squad in Tucson for summer conditioning, 'reporting date' is a bit of a stretch. Most have taken advantage of Summer Session I or II classes to begin that acculturation or continue coursework, and everyone's working with strength coach Corey Edmond during the week. In today's world, if you don't report to camp in top shape you put yourself at a serious disadvantage.

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Willie fit to a T...

Junior quarterback Willie Tuitamaˇ?s difficulties with collisions are a thing of the past ?C eight months passed, in fact. After a solid spring helping incorporate the Catsˇ? new offense under the watchful eye of coordinator Sonny Dykes, the junior signal caller has the zip and physical edge he brought to the program as a freshman in mid 2005... All systems are ˇ®Goˇ? for this factor... Itˇ?s a great sign to see Willieˇ?s re-found poise and confidence after watching him suffer through the effects of concussion in ˇ?06...

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Sonny Daze...

Memorable nicknames like ˇ®Desert Swarmˇ? or ˇ®Fearsome Foursomeˇ? or ˇ®Fun ˇ®N Gunˇ? just donˇ?t come along every day, but some of the local scribes wish it so, and are trying to give UAˇ?s spread attack a name before anyone actually sees it in game action...? Hopefully, as Dykes describes it (while noting itˇ?s not HIS offense, but an amalgam of borrowed goods), you just put people

in space and get them the ball, working to daze the defense with too many responsibilities and thereby force lots of one-on-one... Thereˇ?s no question, after a couple of spring scrimmages that averaged 50 pass plays, that UA fans wonder if thatˇ?s what will happen against BYU on Sept. 1.? Dykes has the track record, to be sure; Texas Tech scored points, threw the ball a ton and gained thousands of yards every year under his co-tutelage...

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The Point?..

--Score some of them, a lot of them. The Cats averaged 17 points per game a year ago. Arizona made the most of it and won six games with a few breakout offensive performances, a lot of defense, the kicking game and some serious willpower. ?But this year the push is to take some of the pressure off the defense and help it be a bit more disruptive by giving it the luxury of some numbers on the scoreboard. You donˇ?t gamble and play as free-wheeling when youˇ?re deep to the elbows in a tight game...

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T-Formation...

--Donˇ?t count on that one, despite the ˇ®Multipleˇ? in the Spread. But, plenty of T abounds in UAˇ?s offense ?C Tuitama, Mike Thomas, Terrell Turner, Terrell Reese, Travis Bell... Then thereˇ?s the ABC-Jˇ?s: Anthony Johnson, A.J. Simmons, B.J. Dennard and Chris Jennings. Throw in the X factor ?C Xavier Smith. H-back Earl Mitchell is simply Big Earl...

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Noting the Defense...

Arizonaˇ?s defensive coordinator Mark Stoops and his older brother are feeling pretty good about their senior-laden, 10-returning-starters unit. Cornerback Antoine Cason and end Louis Holmes are getting some deserved preseason hype, senior Spencer Larsen anchors a veteran linebacking trio, and some guys up front on the inside have drawn early interest from NFL scouts ?C Lionel Dotson and Yaniv Barnett. More than a few young guys with high-end potential abound.? Plenty of eye-vee adjectives have been used ?C instinctive, reactive and explosive. This is the part of Arizonaˇ?s team that might most benefit from a productive offense ?C trotting into play with 80 yards of field position with which to work once in awhile...

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Donˇ?t Forget Us...

The big boys who wear all those 50s to 70s jerseys deserve mention when previewing 2007 Arizona football. The Catsˇ? line across the front is back intact ?C tackles Peter Graniello and Eben Britton, guards Daniel Borg and Joe Longacre, and center Blake Kerley. There are good guys behind them, too. A number of them will one day play on Sundays. For now, their charge is to learn this new stuff fast, keep Tuitama off his back so he can do his thing, and blow open some holes for the physical stuff by the RBs. Look for it to happen.

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Field of Dreams...

ˇ®The memories will be so thick they will have to brush them away from their faces.ˇ? Presumably thatˇ?s how it goes -- if you build it, and they come. (W.P. Kinsellaˇ?s ˇ?Shoeless Joe,ˇ± which spawned ˇ®Field of Dreamsˇ?)? Arizona is doing some great things at the gate of late, establishing a season-best attendance of 390,589 a year ago, with a No. 2 per-game figure of 55,798.? As in all of Division I-A, football is the big financial engine, and UA has been blessed with some superlative attention to whatˇ?s happening with Mike Stoopsˇ? football teams. Theyˇ?re getting better and better... In case you find it thoughtful to check this out in person -- 'Live it Live' -- call 1-800-452-CATS or 520-621-2287, or use some plastic here to buy season tickets: online Ticket Office ?

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